Author: Eric

California’s drought outlook isn’t good

California’s drought outlook isn’t good

The latest U.S. winter outlook spells trouble for dry California.

The drought is a big concern of many water-conscious farmers across the state, and the outlook suggests things will only get worse before they get better.

The West (and Southeast, too) are facing record low snowpack levels, and the snowpack is a major source of summer water for farmers.

In 2018, the California Drought Monitor listed the state as being in a “moderate” and “extreme” drought. With the recent winter predictions – which are already shaping up as below average for snowpack over most of the state – that’s going to add up to an increase in drought risk.

According to the California Department of Water Resources, the state faces an 83-percent chance of facing a drought in California this summer, at a minimum. In 2018, that’s up slightly from 2017’s 77-percent chance of facing the same outcome.

California could face drought conditions this year – even if it doesn’t hit 100 percent of what’s deemed by the National Drought Mitigation Center at risk – and by mid-July the latest outlook from the agency has the state forecast to be in a moderate drought. However, the outlook still forecasts the state to be in a moderate drought by Aug. 1.

Of course, that isn’t to imply that the climate isn’t also a factor in the lack of rain in California and across the Southwest this winter. But the drought predictions still have the potential to make things worse, and many of us have been talking about it for months (and years).

“We’re going to see more snow”

But not this time.

According to the latest winter outlook – which combines several models from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) – it’s going to turn out to be dry as rain.

The agency has used the U.S. Climate Forecast System to generate its winter outlook. It predicted

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